Greg Limeberry’s Top Five Ski Resorts in the US

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There is an abundance of first class ski resorts around in the US for people with a healthy budget and an acquired taste for winter sports. Take a look below to see someone of my favorite spots to ski year around. With summer ending it is never too early to start thinking about winter sports and pinpoint some vacations spots. Hope you enjoy it. 

5. St. Regis Deer Valley Resort located in Deer Valley, United States. The resort is located in the magnificent slopes of Wasatch Mountains, where guests can enjoy outdoors activities such as biking, hiking as well as an abundance of concerts located right outside the resort. It offers 177 rooms that are custom designed and about 64 suites with sizes ranging from 500-2500 square feet. Guests can enjoy amenities such as first class dining at the J&G Grill, handcrafted cocktails at the St. Regis Bar as well as private dining in the exclusive Wine Vault. 

4. Alta Ski Resort , Utah opened in 1939, making it one of the oldest ski resort in the United States. Still relying on its old traditions and foundations, Alta is a favorite among locals and in the past few decades has become a major tourist attraction. The amazing powder like snow brings many snow sport lovers to Alta’s doors, but unfortunately snowboarders are not allowed. The town and community embrace the ski culture and welcome outsiders who have the share this passion.

3. Grand Targhee is located 45 minutes away from Jackson Hole, but with its Nordic skiing trails and powder like snow, this resort can hold its own against the well know surrounding trails. Grand Targhee is a great place for people who enjoy to ski off the beaten path as well as explore new terrains- this resort focuses in improving their customers’ experiences on slopes rather than indoors. Getting more than 450 inches of snow a year, Grand Targhee is a resort for people who love to ski, snowshoe and snowboard. It is a secluded and laid back resort, which reflects most of its consumer base, but it also caters to people who are looking to experience the town and all it has to offer. 

2. Snowbird, Utah covers about 2,500 acres, with its top elevation going to 11, 000 feet. It produces some of the steepest slopes in the country, and is graced with dry and powdery snow during skiing season. Snowbird also host multiple other activities that can be enjoyed year round- such as biking, hiking, fishing, as well as facility related amenities. In the summer visitors can enjoy summer concerts and outdoors activities such as alpine slides, mountain coaster, bungee trampoline and much more. 

1. Located in one of the most popular ski town in the United States, Jackson Hole is a huge attraction for tourists and locals alike. It has a great ski resort and a lot of terrain to explore. Most people who do not consider themselves “experts” would usually shy away from Jackson Holes’ slopes, especially Corbet’s Couloir. For snow lovers who would like have a more relaxed experience, the resort offers other options other than skiing, such as hiking up ridges and backcountry skiing. 

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The World’s Greatest Summer Ski Festival

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Greg Limeberry

Skiing in Norway

Sometimes you just can’t give up the ski season. That’s the case for attendees of the world’s northernmost ski touring festival,  Toppturfestivalen Svalbard in the north of Norway. As Yahoo travel reports, ski bums from all over the world who could not bear to part with winter made the trek this year to the festival that took place from May 29 – June 1 of this year.

Svalbard archipelago, the festival’s location and namesake, is located halfway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The area is cold, has snow year round, and is remote enough that is does not make it on to many tourists’ “must visit” lists.  But that has been changing over the past three years since the festival began, with tickets to attend becoming harder and harder to come by. This year, 80 hardcore ski enthusiasts opted to make the trip to ski amongst the polar bears in the midnight sun.

Most Norwegians embrace what little summer they have, but there are those who will never miss a chance to hit the slopes. They weren’t alone with many skiers attending the fest from Russia and Germany. Each day, skiers would set out to tackle another nearby mountain. The excursions were all accompanied by volunteers armed with rifles, trained in warding off polar bears. After the day’s skiing, the sun stays out all night and so do many of the skiers partying in the bright midnight sun.

With each year, tickets are getting harder and harder to come by, so anyone hoping to attend should be on their computer the moment they go on sale in January at Toppturfestivalen.no. Cost is around $750 can includes a ferry ride, local food for four days, campsite, seminars and entertainment and of course, armed polar bear guards.

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Four Great Adventure Destinations

Travel & Leisure just posted their list of top adventure travel destinations for 2014. There are thirty-two in all and include spots all over the world, along with recommended travel packages. Take a look below for a few examples from their list.

Greg Limeberry

Gorgeous Beaches of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Some of the world’s most beautiful and culturally rich areas are often those ravaged by war or political strife. Such has been the case with Sri Lanka, but the island nation is recovering from over 25 years fighting and opening up to travelers from all walks of life. What visitors will discovers is a place with exciting experiential attractions such as leopard tracking, whale-watching and views of mass elephant migrations in Minneriya National Park. Other attractions include eight World Heritage sites, one of which is the fifth-century city of Sigiriya.

Belgium

Lovers of biking and beer will fall in love with this tour package from Ciclismo Classico. This bike tour will take travellers 326-miles over nine days. Along the way, adventures will see beautiful castles, castles, and of course, breweries offering plenty of opportunities to taste.

Greg Limeberry

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Oceania Expeditions offers an 11-day cultural immersion tour that is dedicated to allowing visitors the opportunity to experience the life of local villagers. Visitors can meet Baining fire-dancers, learn local customs such as tattooing and mat-making, and participate in a pig roast known as a moo-moo feast.

Morocco

A new adventure package from Duvine Cycling & Adventures offers travellers the best of native flair and luxury. Lasting for six days, visitors will travel by bike for roughly four hours per day to Berber villages in the High Atlas Mountains, and stop at Marrakesh’s souk. At night, visitors can relax at Richard Branson’s famous Kasbah Tamadot.  The last night will be spent under a starlit sky in a remote desert oasis.

Find more adventure travel locations at Travel & Leisure.

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Summer Skiing Kicks Off At Mount Hood

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Greg Limeberry

Mount Hood in Oregon

Each year on the longest day, a group of die hard ski bums make their way to Illumination Rock on the southwest side of Mount Hood. The destination is the site of the annual Illumination Saddle solstice celebration that serves as the unofficial beginning to the mountain’s summer ski season, Powder reports.

The destination is appropriate. At 9,500 feet, the ballast outcropping is known for catching the last of the afternoon sunlight and scattering the light, thus the name. So what better place to spend the longest afternoon of the year than Illumination rock. Besides the views, there is a conveniently placed ski pitch on the mountain’s south side.

The yearly event was began by Asit Rathod, an avid skier and famous partier out of Portland. This years event reportedly involved a “serious jump-building mission” on the part of the Home Grown crew made up of Tommy Ellingson, Josh and Mike Larkin, and Rhonda Shaheen. The crew took advantage of the late evening light with a succession of both-way 360s, backflips and saddle jumps.  All of this goes right until sunset at around 9pm, when the real party begins. The whole party made its way down firm, crisp snow back to the Timberline Lodge.

The Illumination Saddle solstice celebration is held every year on the longest day of the year. Learn more at Powder.

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Three Adventure Travel Destinations in the U.S.

Greg Limeberry

Weeping Wall, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

Adventure travel is often characterized by being active in an exotic or remote location. But when you get down to it, adventure can be had just about anywhere as long as the traveler is up for the challenge. USA Today reports on adventure destinations right here in the US to satisfy the traveler who wants to break away from the daily grind.  Below is a sampling of their list of top American adventure destinations.

Kayaking the Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

This tropical rainforest features cliffs that rise out from the ocean to over 4,000 feet overhead. One of the best ways for travelers to experience this spectacle is one one of the 17-mile kayaking trips that run along the coasts. The trip is great workout for anyone of moderate physical ability and offers a challenge with the payoff of breaktaking views. Outfitters run trips from April to October, with waters typically at their calmest in August.

Hiking Zion National Park, Utah

This National Park has an assortment of adventure experiences for the visitor to choose from. Among the top choices for nature lovers is the 16-mile hike descending Virgin River Canyon. Rock walls reach as high as 2,000 feet and involves hiking directly through the water – a challenge for even the most enthusiastic hiker. The park is open year round, but this hike is best taken anytime except April and May when flash flooding becomes a real concern.

Bicycling Glacier National Park, Mont.

This park is famous among cyclists for its Going-to-the-Sun Road which offers some of the most spectacular views of one of the nation’s grandest parks. For most of the route, you will ride above the tree line, getting views unlike any other. However, cyclists are not allowed on the route after 6pm, so plan accordingly.

Find more US adventure destinations at USA Today.

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Roughing It Goes Digital

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Greg Limeberry

Camping made Easier!

Summer is here and it is time to get out into the great outdoors and test your mettle when faced with the elements. Of course, when you do get out in nature, there is no reason to not have a little help from a smartphone or a tablet. After all there are apps available that can be just as useful to campers as a canteen or bug spray, and some even more so. The folks over at recombu have listed some of the best apps for campers.

Compass and Google Maps (iOS and Android, free)

Google Maps is the old standby for finding your way both on and off the beaten path. What you should remember to do before leaving civilization is searching out your destination on Google Maps and using the ‘Save map to use offline’ option. This way, you will still be able to see exactly where you are even without a wireless signal, so long as your GPS is enabled.  A compass app also helps, but you might want to invest in a physical compass in case you find yourself lost and unable to charge your phone.

BootPrint Pocket Survival (iOS, $0.99)

In the woods, losing mobile service is a common occurrence, but in an emergency it can be a real problem. The BootPrint Pocket Survival app tracks cell towers as you pass them, so that you will be able to find

This handy app records the exact location where your phone last picked up signal, in case you desperately need to call home and tell them to record Corrie or Britain’s Got Talent. It’ll even guide you to the golden spot using the iPhone’s built-in compass, so you don’t need to fiddle around with maps.

Army Survival Guide (Android, free) / Survival Guide (iOS, free)

These are actual military survival guides, free and downloadable to your phone or tablet. Frankly, most of the advice in these is going to be a little extreme for your weekend excursion, or even your extreme kayaking trip. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and this app will tell you everything you need to know about knots, purifying water, and making traps to catch a meal. It also has a good deal about evading enemy capture, if you find yourself in the situation.

Disco Light LED Flashlight (Android, free)

This app has a number of features including police light, strobe light and glow stick. While it may sound like it was designed so that users could carry a rave in their pocket (which it probably was) it could end up being very useful in a survival situation for attracting rescue vehicles.

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Ski All Season On Grass

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Greg Limeberry

Grass Skiing

Alpine skiing depends on hills and snow, at least according to conventional thinking. Not for Brian McKay, The Columbian reports, who has been trying to get extreme sports enthusiast on board with his niche sport of grass skiing.

Grass skiing is precisely what it sounds like. Exiting the slalom gates, carving your way down hill, just on grass and not snow. It makes for an exciting ride down, and often a rough landing.

“It’s just like sliding into home plate,” McKay says. “No big deal.”

Believe it or not, grass skiing is not a new idea. It was actually developed in the 1960s when competitive snow-skiers in Germany were looking for a summer training regimen. Some folks picked up on the idea in Europe and it made its way to the US east coast and eventually was introduced to crowds in San Francisco in the late 1970s.

Obviously it never really took off, but there are loyalist like McKay who like to take out their poles and grass skis – short runners with wheeled treads on traditional downhill skiing boots. McKay says that he is willing to take any other extreme-sports enthusiasts out for a test run if they find themselves in Southern Oregon looking for something different to do.

“I want some ski buddies,” McKay says.

Snow skiers can have a difficult time mastering grass skiing because there is no gliding or sliding to speak off. The skis must carve and they leave no trace in the grass. Also, it can be very difficult to regulate your speed.

“You just go faster and faster until you run out of hill or reach terminal speed,” McKay says. Though he would insist that its that kind of risk that makes it fun.

Learn more about grass skiing in The Columbian.

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